Monday, June 7, 2010

What Makes Me High! Part 2 (of 5)

Some people run in the snow. I do not. Running is about loving the experience.

Part 2 (of 5)

I'm a hobby runner, not an athlete. Running mental and physical fitness. And, yes, style and fashion can be incorporated into running (covered in part 3). In fact, wearing a new outfit, pair of shoes, socks or even listening to a new running song can motivate you to run more often and further. More about that in part 5 of this series.

Covered in this post:
  • Good Days/Bad Days
  • Safety
  • Traffic
  • Music
  • Distance
  • Speed
  • GPS
  • Music
  • Alone or With other People

Good Days/Bad Days:
Some days you'll feels as if you could run 10 miles. Some days you'll struggle to run 1mile or less. Who knows why --bad attitude, not enough fuel, weather…whatever. If you have a bad day, remember, it’s just one day. Your next run will be better. If you haven't slept well the night before or haven't eaten enough, your run may be more difficult, but not always. The point is, just do something. Even if it's only 1/2 mile.


Where to look when running: Make sure you look at your running surface often to make sure your path is safe. I’ve fallen, splat on the sidewalk, a few times when my toe caught a sidewalk block that was raised 1-2 inches from an underground tree root. And I've been hurt from those falls and besides it’s really embarrassing.

Cell Phone: ALWAYS take a cell phone no matter how far you run. I've been hurt on runs and needed to be picked up. You never know when and if you'll need it.

Traffic: Before changing position on a sidewalk, look behind you for bikes (I hate bikes that ride on sidewalks especially when there’s a bike lane provided) or other runners coming up behind you. I've often wished there were runners' rear-view mirrors.

Always follow traffic rules. Use crosswalks. Wait for pedestrian “walk” lights.

Don’t trust cars or bicyclists. Cross streets with the light and look for cars or cyclists before stepping into the crosswalk. I've nearly been hit by cars and bicyclists who were turning right oblivious to pedestrians.

Always take a piece of ID with you and some money. (More about this later.)

Speed:One time I was running, I was so into my music, I ran to fast and too hard. When I stopped at a light to cross the street, everything went white. I held onto the pole and waited 15 minutes before the dizziness subsided. This is not a good thing.

Speed doesn’t matter.
Run at a speed a little slower than you think you can. Your speed will increase the more you run.

Music: I take my iPhone on every run. Before my iPhone, I took a cell phone and a Nano. I’ve always run to music – as far back as a Walkman. I make music combos that match the running pace I like. Some songs don’t match my pace, but they’re inspirational like “Forever Young” by or “Born to Run." Find your own pace and inspiration. (More about this in part 5 -- you'll love this -- it's my secret to really enjoyable running!)

GPS:I use the GPS on my iPhone. I LOVE this capability, but it doesn't always work where I run. An iPhone app or Nike Sensor are a good way track your progress. I'm a geek and like to quantify my progress. I use Run Keeper .

Distance: I pre-drive my courses to measure the distances with my odometer and record them on a little card I carry in my waist pack.

Decide on your distance before setting out. Add small distance increments help you increase your distance safely.

Alone or With Other People:I've run with people and alone. Years ago I had the perfect running partner. Neither of us liked to talk during our runs. She was taller and younger than I, but I ran faster. It didn't matter; we motivated each other. She moved out of town so, now I run alone.

I've run with large training groups and loved the companionship, but I run too fast with groups. Try different running experiences. You'll find your best way.

Next blog post: Part 3 What to Wear and Essential Accoutrements